Ok, now, in addition, imagine being told this one night as if...hmm...as if you were talking about the weather, or maybe discussing whether the curtians were more of a navy or a royal blue.
So then what did I say to my dad? "Oh, ok. Yeah. Cool." No excitement or disappointment from him, just flat, emotionless really, so I suppose that I gave him the same sort of response.
Later though, I went home and cried. Partially because I was sad for myself that this is the kind of man I have for a father, but mostly I was sad for him. I tried talking to my sister about it, but she didn't really understand why someone making such a unromantic, unsacramental, unjoyful choice about marriage would bother me. Maybe it's just I've spent so much time learning the ins and outs of vocation to womenhood that I think his girlfriend deserves to marry someone who not only just likes her enough to satisfy himself, but also loves every bit of her, body and soul, and wants to be there with her to support her, care for her, and help her through the good times and bad. And hearing and seeing the beauty that is a strong, true, deep, loving - haha or perhaps free, total, faitful, fruitful - marriage...
At the same time, it serves as a reminder of what can happen if we choose to close ourselves up, shut away the people and memories that cause us pain, rather than facing them head on. Because if there's one thing I've learned, it's that you can't block out the bad without also negating some of the good. Like, imagine all your emotions on a line. At the far left is the most painful thing that's ever happened to you, and on the far right is the most joyful. Obviously, you want to know what it's like to be super happy, so you want to stretch the line in that direction. But...I'm convinced this emotion line only grows two ways: simultaneously bigger or smaller in both directions. To put it in Gratia Plena terms, if you want to feel the ecstasy of Christ's love, you also have to be willing to feel the agony of His death. And my dad, well, he couldn't handle the terrible things that happened to him as a child. He didn't want to feel that pain, he didn't want to go there, so he shut it out. And as he got older, he didn't stop; he shut out more and more of the bad, probably never realizing the good that was disappearing too. And now...here he is...60 years old and unable to experience the excitement of a wedding or sympathsize with the hurt of his daughter.
I'm sorry for this rant. I love my dad when it really comes down to it. But...ah! I guess I just wanted to see if anyone else understands any of this.